Resignation Dates

To leave at the end of… Teachers must resign by: Heads must resign by:
Autumn Term
(31 December)
31 October 31 September
Spring Term
(30 April)
28 (29) February 31 January
Summer Term
(31 August)
31 May 30 April


Have them sign up to one  CLICK HERE (PAGE 51) OR THE LOCAL AGREEMENT


The downloadable guide is for information; it is not its purpose to provide a thorough grounding for school representatives in handling redundancy matters themselves. Whilst school representatives may be “the eyes and ears of the Union”, the handling of redundancy is an extremely complex matter. The information gathered at one stage may be deployed at subsequent stages and on certain occasions may be subsequently used at an employment tribunal.

It is therefore the case that at the first indications of redundancy a school representative should contact either their Divisional Secretary or the Regional Office. On no account should any school representative seek to undertake any consultation on behalf of the NEU with the head teacher or governors of their school.

Click Here to download the Redundancy pamplet

Teachers Assurance and Pensions

Teachers Assurance will work with teachers and their families. Here are extracts from notes made at the meeting and used with permission:

Changes in the state pension age  Women born before April 1950 can retire at 60 but if you are born after that it goes up to 65 just as for men. If you are under 40 then you will retire at 68, but only need 30 years’ payment for full value.

Teachers Superannuation scheme Teachers who were in the scheme before 31st December ’06 are in old scheme and can retire at 60 with access to earlier retirement at 55. If you started the scheme after that your pension age is 65. Everyone contributes 6.4%; the employer puts in 14.1%. This is one of best schemes around and still ‘final salary’.

Old scheme With this you need to do 40 years’ service to get full pension and get a tax free lump sum one and half times your ‘final’ salary. It is now possible to commute some pension to increase your lump sum and vice versa. If you have a break of more than five years, you will return on new scheme.

New scheme You need 30 years for full pension and after this you do not have to pay into the pension. There is no lump sum but you can give up part of your pension to get a lump sum.

Both schemes The pension is based on the highest salary for three consecutive years over the last ten years. The chosen value is index-linked to bring it up to current value.

Watch out! Make sure all superannuation payments are logged. Check regularly. Never throw away pay slips: these are the only record of superannuation paid and other details. Keep for the length of your career.

Phased and flexible retirement You can elect to get part of your pension after 55. You can work part time and get some pension.  By taking it gradually, it is not so actuarially reduced. The employer needs to consent


Careful consideration of all the circumstances, therefore, needs to be undertaken in each case in which picketing may be suggested. The members affected should be fully consulted by the division before the proposal is taken further. Members should not in any way be pressurised to support the holding of a picket.

Where a picket is organised, members of other unions at the school who have not been balloted to take part in action should under no circumstances be asked to take part in the action.  They should however be requested to refuse to undertake duties or responsibilities which have been declined by those participating in the action.

Divisions which are considering holding pickets should seek advice at an early stage from the appropriate regional or Wales office.

Head teachers may have made arrangements for schools to be open on a day of industrial action by the Union and taken steps to ensure that all or some pupils will attend school.  Where this is the case the advice given below on the legal position in relation to talking to pupils must be followed.  In all cases, the safety of the pupils has overarching priority. Members will readily understand that they should do nothing that would put at risk the safety or welfare of children.

The Legal Position on picketing and the Code of Practice

“Picketing” is not an activity peculiar to industrial dispute.  It is essentially a group of people assembled at a particular place with the aim of influencing the behaviour of other people.  Understood in that way, picketing is subject to a wide range of laws including, for example, the laws about unlawful assembly, nuisance, harassment, assault, trespass and obstruction.  All these laws apply to picketing as they apply to any other assembly of people or the activities of individuals.

Without an exception, however, the law would also prohibit picketing in the course of which people may be persuaded not to carry out the obligations of their contracts of employment.  Rather than create a right to picket as such, the law gives this exemption from this rule to people whose activity constitutes a lawful picket.  This exemption is subject to certain specified conditions.

Some of the conditions are rigidly laid down in an act of Parliament. Others cannot be made so precise and are therefore contained in a Code of Practice.

Compliance with the conditions contained in the Code of Practice is not, however, an absolute protection against complaints of unlawful activity because particular circumstances, for example, the need to clear the highway to give access to emergency services or security concerns, may override.

Compliance with the conditions in the Code of Practice may therefore be taken as protecting pickets against liability for “inducing” others to break their contracts in normal circumstances.

Further, while the Code of Practice offers no specific exemptions from the laws against harassment, nuisance and obstruction, there would be little purpose in making picketing lawful for one purpose if it might be prohibited under other laws.

The Code of Practice may therefore be taken at least as a guide that picketing conducted in accordance with its requirements would not be prohibited for these reasons in normal circumstances.

However, two specific legal points are particularly important in NEU pickets.

First, members will find it obvious that whilst it is lawful to seek to persuade others not to cross a picket line to carry out their employment duties, it is not lawful to try to persuade pupils or students not to go to school.  Students should not be encouraged not to attend school if the school has been opened for them.  A pupil or student who asks whether this is an objective of the picket should be clearly told that it is not.

Second, it is not lawful for the Union to discipline members who choose to work on a day that the Union is taking industrial action and no member making this choice should be threatened or intimidated by suggestions of Union disciplinary action.

If, following a successful ballot and after full consultation with members, the division feels that a picket may be appropriate then this should only be done in full consultation with the Action Officers.  All pickets should be organised in line with these guidelines.

1.            “In contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute”

This is the crucial starting point for a lawful picket.  Persuading others, in particular other members of the Union, not to fulfil their employment or other contractual obligations is not lawful and not protected against consequent liabilities unless done in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute as legally defined and following a ballot of a member concerned.

The legal definition of a “trade dispute” is precise and does not necessarily extend to all complaints which teachers may feel about matters which affect their work.  The Union will have to have satisfied itself that there is a trade dispute and that it has clearly identified precisely how that dispute is formulated before even a ballot is authorised.  Any discussion of the nature of the Union’s complaint, such as in publicity material or negotiations with the employer, which could later be argued as suggesting that the Union’s formulation of the trade dispute is not accurate, could open the Union to legal challenge.  It is therefore important that such material follows the formulation agreed by the Union.

2.            Number of Pickets at an entrance/exit

The Government’s Code of Practice on Picketing says “pickets and their organisers should ensure that in general terms the number of pickets does not exceed six at any entrance to, or exit from, a workplace; frequently a smaller number will be appropriate”.  This figure is only advisory but it is likely that the courts will give effect to it.

While participating in a picket, NUT members should avoid obstructing entrances, exits or the highway.

Pickets should remain outside any part of premises which are private property unless they have received permission to enter. Otherwise they could be sued for trespass.

3.            Who can picket a workplace?

Picketing is lawful only if it is carried out peacefully by persons attending at or near their own place of work.  This is a statutory condition.  The workplaces in question are those to which the persons concerned normally report on a daily basis.  In the case of members who are mobile or do not report to a fixed workplace, then the administrative centres are deemed to be the relevant places of work.

The only exception to this rule concerns trade union officials, who may join a picket line at or near the places of work of members of their trade unions whom they represent.  This means that local division officers and local executive members, for example, can take part in pickets at places where their members work.  For more information on this, contact should be made with the relevant regional/Wales office or the Assistant Secretary – Regional Co-ordination, Local Support and Action.

It is not lawful for workers from other places of work to join the picket line and any offers of support on the picket line from outsiders must be refused.

There are in addition occasions, when other people may be present at a picket, not to take part in persuading others not to work or otherwise refuse contractual obligations but rather to show solidarity with and support for the picket.  This has not in the past been challenged as making the picket unlawful.

4.            Police

It is advisable to notify the police in order to establish good relations in the event of problems arising on the picket lines.  It is recommended that the division contact the appropriate police authorities, telling them where they intended to conduct pickets and asking what further information they need.

Pickets should co-operate with the police in requests they make, for example, to keep the streets free from obstruction.

There must be strict adherence to all arrangements agreed with police.  These might relate to the position where the pickets should stand; expected standards of behaviour; and the showing of placards.

In particular there must be no use of loud speakers, particularly where private houses are nearby.

Should members be arrested, this should be reported to the appropriate regional or Wales offices in order that any necessary representations or complaints can be made to the police.

Witnesses to an arrest should make a note of the following details:

1.            Date and Time

2.            The number of police officers involved

3.            The name of the member arrested

4.            Any reasons given for the arrest

5.            Any words exchanged between the police officer and the person arrested.

5.            Organisation of the Picket

It is important that picketing is properly organised, including details of times, rotas and members involved, and all relevant information given to those who will be taking part.

Pickets must include only members on strike for whom the workplaces being picketed are their normal places of work and the union officials who represent them (see section 3).  Pickets should not be made up entirely of union officials and activists but should include members directly involved in the disputes who are not necessarily committed union activists.

In each case, a letter of authority from the Union should be obtained in advance from the regional/Wales office by the division officer who will be present to oversee the organising of the picket on the day so that it can be shown to the police or persons wishing to cross the picket line if requested.

A picket register should be kept as a record of attendance on picket duty.

Where other unions have balloted their members and are taking action on the same days, divisions should seek to agree how picketing is to be carried out and how the quota of up to six pickets at each entrance or exit is to be composed.

Each picket line should have a picket organiser, whose function is to:

§     arrange for pickets to wear armbands;

§     establish that official placards are on display;

§     liaise with local officers/ co-ordinators;

§     liaise with the police if required.

Armbands and placards can be obtained from the Union on request, in good time, to regional/Wales offices.

6.            Identification

Pickets should wear armbands indicating they are on duty. Placards and posters should be displayed stating OFFICIAL STRIKE.  These are available from regional/Wales offices.